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The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

The Writing Center: FAQs



Last updated on 1/12/2015

The Writing Center is your partner in teaching our students the reading, writing, research, analysis, and critical thinking skills they’ll need to excelin coursework and their careers.

On our website, we offer resources to help you direct students to the writing support that’s right for them. These resources include information on referrals, classroom visits, and language for your syllabi, In addition, we welcome you to explore the comprehensive, rigorous, and innovative pedagogical materials we’ve developed that you’re welcome to adapt for your classroom.

Most importantly, we’re here to partner with you to support your teaching and your students’ writing needs. Please contact us at any time to discuss how we can support, challenge, and celebrate your students together.

Below, please find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by faculty.

Who can use the Writing Center?

All current Baruch undergraduate and graduate students are welcome.

Who are your consultants?

Our consultants are graduate-trained teachers of college writingmost hold terminal degrees in Writing, English, TESOL or a related field. In addition to their work in the Writing Center, they teach courses here at Baruch or at other institutions across the city, and many write or edit professionally. Their bios are available here.

What happens during a Writing Center consultation?

A lot of that depends on the student. Generally, though:

  • Students spend the first 5-10 minutes of the session in conversation with their consultant, as we learn more about your students as writers, their assignments, where they are in the drafting process, and what they’re hoping to get out of the session.
  • After the student and consultant decide together what the session’s goals will be, they spend the majority of the 50-minute session working towards those goals.
  • Students write a lottaking notes, brainstorming, revising, and drafting new writing. They’ll learn and practice new techniques for reading, brainstorming, research, drafting, and revising. There’s a lot of conversation, and plenty of time to answer questions along the way.
  • In the last 10 minutes, students write a session record with their consultantthey’ll get a copy, which will help them remember what they learned, how they learned it, and how they can practice it in future writing. They can opt to send a copy to you, too.

I am concerned about a student’s writing or language skills. What should I do?

We’re here to help you support students with writing and language needs. You’re welcome to refer students to our consultations and workshops. We welcome, too, conversations with you about your students’ writing, whether concerning a whole class or a particular student. Contact us and we’ll collaborate to develop the support your student needs.

Can I require my class to come to the Writing Center?

We ask that you don’t, for reasons both practical and pedagogical.

  • Practical: We’re often booked solid days in advance, and don’t usually have the resources to support an entire class of students required to visit us, or to even guarantee that individual students required to visit will be able to find an appointment.
  • Pedagogical: Students who are required to go the Writing Center often come without the investment necessary to be productive, since our pedagogy requires active work and participation throughout the session or workshop. Students who come with the primary goal of getting a signature certifying they’ve been here tend to get a lot less out of our resources.

How do I refer a student to the Writing Center?

You can download the referral form here. Students tell us that your referral is the most influential factor in their decision to use our services. They’re more likely, too, to feel encouraged and motivated to seek out support by statements like, “I’d like to help you develop your writing so you can excel in this class,” rather than by negative feedback.

Will I know if my student has used the Writing Center?

At the end of a session, your student has the option to send you a copy of the session record, co-authored with their consultant, that summarizes the work they’ve done during the session. Some students don’t want to send a record to their professor, even if we encourage them to (and we usually do). If you’d just like to know if a student came to see us, you can call or email the front desk, where one of our assistants can check the scheduler to confirm attendance.

For more information, visit the Writing Center’s website: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/writingcenter/, or contact Keri Bertino, Director, Writing Center at keri.bertino@baruch.cuny.edu and (646) 312-4004.